The Etch A Sketch is one of those hallmark childhood toys that transcended generations. Our parents probably had one, we had one as kids, and…well…the rise of technology has more or less put the children of today in a place where they might not even know what an Etch A Sketch is.
There’s a KickStarter campaign underway that seeks to bridge the gap between the majesty and nostalgia of the original Etch A Sketch with the technology of an iPad. The device is called “Etcher” and it is a physical device that you slip your iPad inside (like a case) and then using the Etcher app, can use the Etch A Sketch-style knobs to create any number of designs on your iPad. The element of the device/app that perhaps makes it better than the original iPad is that once you’ve created an awesome design, you can save the image to your device or publish it out to Facebook, Flickr, or another service. The coolest feature, however, is the option to publish a timelapse video of you creating your drawing to YouTube.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based inventors only have prototypes of the device right now, but have been in talks with manufacturers (including Ohio Art, the manufacturer of the original Etch A Sketch) to produce the devices at mass scale once funding for completing development and beginning an initial production run is in hand. A $45 contribution on KickStarter will get you a red version of Etcher, and then donations at higher levels will earn you either different colors of Etchers or additional devices.
Etcher will be compatible with every version of the iPad as well as all official iOS releases. The inventors say they also plan to make elements of the project open source so that developers can create additional games and apps using the physical Etcher device (think Pong, folks.)